Change Through New Practices
Updated: Sep 28, 2020
I decided to write this post because learning from teachers such as Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and Wayne Dyer, to name a few, made a big impact on my life. I've kept the 'how' and the 'why' of my new practices relatively quiet until now, but I'm sharing this post because this is information I wish I had seen many years ago and I figure it might be of interest if it's new to you like it was to me a year and a half ago. It would take many books to do this topic justice, but here's a glimpse.
The past year and a half is a time I never would have imagined would occur in my life. Although it has had its share of obstacles and trials, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. When I came across teachings on moving to a higher level of consciousness in January 2019 I wasn't sure if I wanted to dip my toe in the water because it was an unknown, however it has added so much to my life and has been a game-changer.
The first spiritual practice I added was mindfulness meditation. I sit quietly, focus on my senses, and if a thought pops into my mind I ignore it and focus on one of my senses. We're so used to paying attention to thoughts, but the goal here is to completely clear your mind. It takes practice but is worth the effort. Meditating and quietening the mind is what it means to be still. I never experienced stillness because I used to spend most of my contemplative time talking instead of listening. I thought I knew how to be still but I didn't. Being still is more powerful than you may imagine, and it's been a whole new experience for me. I feel immense peace and gain clarity and energy. Practicing mindfulness exercises the awareness muscle, and increased awareness has so many benefits. Did you know that meditating also actually changes genes. It changes biology your, and is a foundation for what I discuss next, which is Thought Life.
Mindfulness and increased awareness allows you to do some important thought work. First, let me explain the term "ego" and why it's important to reduce its negative impact on your life. The ego is basically your conditioned thought processes (how your brain is wired) and is responsible for negative and fear-based thoughts which prevent you from living in the present moment. The ego keeps you thinking about the past or worrying about the future and prevents you from focusing on the moment that's in front of you, which is where you can really enjoy life. It can negatively affect you in a variety of ways, but it's possible to reduce its negative impact. Once I learned to recognize when the ego was at play and moved the unproductive thoughts out of my mind, my worried thoughts were significantly reduced. The ego is about fearful, judgmental, and distracting thoughts you have about yourself and others. It impacts the ability to connect and interact in a positive way and affects how you respond to situations and experiences. The simple act of working with my thoughts has made me into a more kind and loving individual and has also resulted in rewiring my brain. It is what was needed for me to fully recover from my chronic health issues, and has led to a more productive and enjoyable life. Recognizing and working on thoughts is a really simple but powerful tool that impacted my physical, mental, and spiritual health.
For me, thought life and understanding the ego are where healing resides. Toxic thoughts are the root cause of many issues in work and personal life. Toxic thoughts made me sick and learning how to see and process thoughts differently helped get me to get better. I used to feel weak, but now I have seen the healing power within. Instead of sitting idle and praying for my problems to be fixed, I participated in my own healing. And as I mentioned in a previous post, I believe that it came down to a single thought. "I believe I will get better." A new thought life is the key to change and is the foundation for improving each aspect of life.
Each part of my life has been positively impacted from doing daily practices of mindfulness and thought work. Relationships with family and friends have transformed and previously toxic relationships are thriving now. My relationships with my husband and daughters are different and I think I'm a better wife, mother, and friend. I'm more chilled and few things stress me out these days. I used to be impatient, at times felt angry at the world, and doubted myself. Now I am able to turn a difficult day around through doing mindfulness and some thought work. The ability to really see what's going on within myself and the courage to admit it are added benefits of my new practices.
My personal spiritual journey led me to my friend Myrna who is teaching me how to make the big changes in my life, which are allowing me to grow personally. I could write a book to explain how much she has impacted me and my journey. She has opened my eyes and heart, and is such a beautiful, fun-loving soul. I started taking classes with her in the Fall, and I'm so grateful to her and my amazing Emerge family. We are a group of friends who are doing the work so that we can shine our light. These friends are showing me how to really laugh again, and I'm becoming the human being I've always wanted to be. They have challenged and encouraged me, and are supporting me with love and wisdom.
The practices I mentioned in this post have been so incredibly helpful to me. They have helped me to discover my purpose in this lifetime; to discover my gifts, love others through service, and learn what I'm here to learn. I am committed to authentically living my life fully, and I hope this post will inspire you to do the same.
Until next time, discover life!